Friday, May 27, 2016

"That Little Smudge" by Kelly Shepherd

Oh I see a smudge
Let me just wipe my bright white sleeve across it
It's still there but yet it’s not
To anyone other than me,
all there would be to see is
a blackish tint replacing the smudge

but I see that tint
so I wash and I scrub
trying to remove any lasting color from that smudge

It wasn’t a large smudge,
maybe only the size of pinky nail
yet when I looked at the artwork that I had been given
the artwork that I wanted to change,
I saw the shadows of the smudge surrounding the entire room

I felt myself suffocating from that little smudge
I couldn’t stand it
The shadows were filled with such smoke
It had spread as quick as a disease around the room
Everywhere I turned, all I saw was that little smudge

That little smudge consumed my days
I wished to make it go away
So I tried just that
I tried to wipe it all away

but that didn’t help because all I saw was that tint
All I saw was the parts of the artwork smudged by
my bright white sleeve
soon that little black smudge wasn’t so little
and it wasn’t just one
The smudges grew and grew in number
until I no longer could see a piece of art

I blamed the other precious pieces of art,
the pieces of art that I saw as perfect
When I should have been blaming the smoke
I didn’t use a fire extinguisher
I didn’t try to stop the fire from spreading the deadly fog
I just let it consume me because of
that little smudge that just wasn’t perfect

I guess that’s how it starts though
the cycle for perfection
is a finite as a hamster spinning in a wheel
you think “oh there’s just one thing I don’t like”
but then suddenly you notice every
Single tiny yet soul consuming imperfection
and you can’t take it

Eventually that one wipe
on that bright white sleeve
creates an even bigger mess
It blurs the colors together,
trying to hide the black smudge
yet now the beauty that was there
is now overshadowed by the
deadly smoke

Once a beautiful, original,
now a blur similar to all other pieces of art
I took that white sleeve and tried to erase
but there is no erasing this art
there is only replacing
beauty with smoke

Every wipe we feed the flame
the smoke grows and surrounds us until
it too hard to breathe because each breath remind us
that we are

The smoke whispers taunts and
vicious words that are sharp enough to kill,
words that float in and out
always there
keeping this unending cycle in motion

Without those words spoken by the deadly smoke,
the masterpiece might have stayed perfect
for the more we try to erase
and “perfect” our masterpieces,
the less perfect we become.

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